How to Prepare for the Career Fair

Career & Internship Fairs

Career fairs are events that bring employers and students together. Whether you are looking for an internship or job, or simply exploring what's out there, there's no better place to go than our career and internship fairs! 

February 26, 2020
1 -5 p.m. - Career Fair
DeVos Place Convention Center | 303 Monroe Ave NW | Grand Rapids, MI 49503

career fair

Before the Career Fair

  • Attend Career Fair Preparation Events - These on-campus workshops provide valuable information on how to make the most of your career fair experience, including tips on getting your resume in shape, what to expect, what to bring, what to wear, who to visit, how to speak with employers and essential follow up.
  • Do your research – Check out the list of attending employers.  The more information you can gather beforehand, the more successful the job fair is going to be for you. Figure out which organizations you are interested in and spend time doing some research on them. What information does their website or Handshake have? What types of positions do they have available?  How do your skills and experiences match what they’re looking for?
  • Develop questions - Narrow down your list of organizations to include those who have positions you are interested in, or those that you think you might like to work for then list some questions you would like to ask the representative at the fair.
  • Perfect your resume - Having a great resume is essential at a job fair. The resume gives employers a blueprint of your skills and something tangible to remember you by.  Schedule an appointment for a resume review with a Career Center advisor by calling (616) 331-3311.
  • Prepare an introduction - Having a polished 30-second or less speech to introduce yourself to the employer will help you to initiate conversation.  In your introduction, you should include your name, major/minor(s), year in school, career goals, and why you are interested in the particular organization.

At the Career Fair

  • Firm handshake and eye contact - Greet employers with a firm handshake, and maintain eye contact throughout your conversation. Showing interest and good manners is important, regardless of the type of job you are looking for. Every employer appreciates someone who is dedicated, conscientious, and attentive.
  • Take the time to talk - Don't just drop off a resume and move to the next booth. Take time to get additional information and make an impression. The point is not to see how many resumes you can give to employers in the least amount of time - it is a chance to network with employers. Because of online applicant tracking systems, some employers will not be able to take resumes at the fair, but don't get discouraged. The conversations you have with the recruiters are making an impression, and they are definitely taking note, making these conversations even more valuable!
  • Use your research - If you have done research before the job fair, you can have an informed conversation with the representative. It works to your advantage if you can tell employers how your skills match what they are looking for. Employers want to hire people who are genuinely interested in their organization.
  • Collect business cards for follow-up - It is always a good idea to collect the business card of the individual you spoke with at each table.  This will allow you to follow up with that individual in the future.
  • Stop by the Ask Me table - If you're unsure of who to talk to or what employers fit your area, visit the Ask Me table. There are advisors on hand who can help answer any questions you may have.

What to Bring

  • Resumes - Bring multiple copies of your resume on professional resume paper. Resume and Cover Letter Resources
  • Padfolio or Notepad - Carry a professional or leather-look notepad and pen to use when jotting down notes.
  • Portfolio - If you have one, be sure you also bring your Teaching Portfolio for review.

What Not to Bring

  • Gum
  • Cell phone, Ipod or other electronic devices
  • Beverages

What to Wear

After the Career Fair

  • Follow up - Did you establish new professional contacts at the Career Fair? Stay connected using LinkedIn or follow up from the business cards you collected. Learn how by attending a LinkedIn workshop. Interviewing & Networking Resources